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DRL senior trio represents Michigan, prepares for next level PHOTO GALLERY

  • Roosevelt's Brandon Sowards was targeted with a would-be touchdown pass on Saturday, but saw it knocked away by Ohio's Ryan Williamson during the Michigan-Ohio Border Classic All-Star Game. Photo Gallery by Ricky Lindsay
  • De La Salle quarterback glides into the end zone during Saturday's Michigan-Ohio Border Classic. The Rutgers' signee went 6-11 for 48 yards in the air while adding 56 yards and a touchdown on 12 rushes in Michigan's 27-14 win. Photo gallery by Ricky Lindsay.
Click here for game story and another photo gallery

Click here for another photo gallery

Click here for another photo gallery

Brandon Sowards has dreamed of sprinting out onto Spartan Stadium's field while donning a Michigan State University football uniform.

Malik Boynton dreams of playing in the NFL in four years. And Damon Singleton, he just hopes to avoid a redshirt.

All three players represented Downriver League football during Saturday's inaugural Michigan-Ohio Border Classic. Team Michigan defeated Team Ohio 27-14.

"It feels good, especially that we won," Sowards said. "First time ever, Michigan history. We're going down as the first one ever to beat Ohio, so it's pretty special."

For Boynton, playing in the all-star game was more than a personal sentiment.

"We're representing Michigan, so it's bigger than us," Boynton said. "We're playing for something bigger than us and we got the job done."

Sowards dream will become a reality in a matter of months. Per 247 Sports, he originally committed to Grand Valley State University but chose to accept a preferred walk-on spot with MSU in early February.

"Just more of a dream," Sowards said. "I know I can play there, nothing special. Just more of a dream and I can't wait to get there."

The three-year wide receiver at Roosevelt will be a preferred walk-on at Michigan State. He didn't record any receiving statistics during the All-Star game, but was targeted on a deep end zone pass.

Singleton teamed up with Sowards at Roosevelt over the past three seasons. The linebacker signed to play football at Ball State University after committing last July. He said he'll play either linebacker or safety in college.

Singleton played with Sowards one last time during the Border Classic. Though he didn't record any stats, the linebacker enjoyed the overall experience.

"It was outstanding," he said. "Build relationships, meet new people. First team ever, memorized forever."

Boynton is heading south to Austin Peay State University with heady expectations after a two-year varsity career at Melvindale. He hauled in two passes for 12 yards during the Border Classic.

"I want to go in, earn my spot as a freshman, and hopefully go to the NFL in four years," he said.

The cornerback's road to his dream will be tedious. Only four players from Austin Peay have played in the NFL.

During his final season at Melvindale, Boynton led his team to a 9-3 record and regional appearance. The Cardinals topped undefeated Milan in districts.

"It was fun," Boynton said. "We got a chance to prove ourselves to the people on the outside looking in that didn't know about us that much."

Sowards hauled in 44 passes for 1,045 yards and 17 touchdowns during his senior year at Roosevelt. There will be many memories from the past three years that he'll take to MSU, but Roosevelt's 11-2 season during his junior year will stand out amongst others.

"Probably the most that will stand out will be (defeating) Oak Park to get into the semis (in 2012), playing Brother Rice," Sowards said.

Sowards is already comfortable with his future digs. After all, he took the field with five MSU signees, including Team Michigan's Nick Padla, David Beedle, Byron Bullough, and Jalen Watts-Jackson.

"David Beedle, Jalen Watts-(Jackson) we're all cool," he said. "Coach Sam (Terrence Samuel), he's my position coach and he recruited me, so it's going to be fun to get up there."

Along with Sowards and Boynton, Singleton represented the Downriver League amongst some of Michigan's best prep talents while at the University of Findlay's Donnell Stadium.

"It felt good, because there's not a lot of people that recognize the Downriver League as much it should be," Singleton said.

Winning the first Border Classic is a good feeling Boynton. But he'll remember everything from the experience.

"The practices, the icing, the soreness. Just the work we put in all weekend and playing with so many great players," Boynton said.

In his first year at MSU, Sowards expects to redshirt. After that, he plans to compete for a starting spot in his freshman and sophomore years.

As the days inch closer, Sowards is starting to realize his dream will shortly become a reality.

"It's just now hitting me (that) I leave in two weeks," he said.

While the dream is to play for the Spartans, he'll welcome another one come January.

"Yeah, win a Rose Bowl," he said. It's not a bad thing."

Last Updated: 6/15/2014 1:09:31 AM EST

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